|The Iowa Dental Board held its quarterly meeting on July 21. The meeting was involved and covered many notable topics of interest. The University of Iowa Dental College has been very concerned about the dental licensure process for Iowa graduates. The college initiated a bill in the Iowa legislature proposing licensure examination without live patient treatment. The dental board strongly feels that patient based examinations with third party evaluation is the best method to evaluate graduate dentist competency. The legislature recommended that the dental board and the college of dentistry work jointly to resolve this issue.
The college of dentistry presented the California Portfolio Examination as an alternative to patient based examinations. Under the California Portfolio Examination model the dental student presents dental treatment at various times during the student’s education which is examined by a dental evaluator. There are guidelines and requirements that must be met by the student to pass the portfolio process. The college provides evaluators who have been trained to evaluate the student’s treatment and competency.
The IDB is very concerned that the California model relies on the dental college teaching staff for the evaluations. The IDB prefers third party evaluators who are not members of the teaching staff to provide the evaluations.
The board also discussed the Buffalo model which is similar to the CRDTS process. The Buffalo model is patient based. However, the Buffalo model includes live patient testing and is evaluated by third party evaluators.
The board proposed drafting a rule to change the current testing process. The proposed rule change will be discussed at the next dental board meeting.
The board strongly encourages all licensees and registrants to renew licenses online. Renewing online reduces paper work and staff time to process the licenses and registrations.
There were two notices of intended action. Notices of intended action are notifications for public awareness and comment before a rules change is enacted. One notice involves “Licensure to Practice Dentistry or Dental Hygiene” and the other notice involves “Dental and Dental Hygiene examinations”. They are intended to clarify existing licensure and examination processes. They do not make fundamental rules change.
Notably, there was discussion about a rules change requiring licensees and registrants to have continuing education in jurisprudence and infection control every four years. The Iowa dental rules are frequently changed thus the need for continuing education in jurisprudence. Infection control is constantly changing due to CDC and OSHA recommendations thus the need for continuing education in infection control. This requirement will probably be enacted at an upcoming board meeting.
Practice transition due to retirement or location change and patient notification of the change is a special concern to the board. The board wants patients to be properly notified about practitioner transition changes. The board passed a rule requiring outgoing practitioners to notify patients of record for the past 2 years of the practitioners change by mail or by placing a notice in the newspaper once a week for 3 successive weeks.
Teledentistry is a new area of dentistry. It is expected to be part of the dental treatment spectrum in the future. A presentation was given to the board a few months ago. The issue is expected to be utilized for treatment for underserved areas and for public health dental treatment. It will be used for dental hygienists in remote areas to provide over sight for hygiene treatments involving prophylaxis, oral health, fluoride, and possibly silver nitrate administration.
An issue not related to the board is expanded functions level training. The Iowa College of Dentistry had developed a course that teaches expanded function level 2 training. The course was opened for registration on July 1. Interested parties may contact Penni Ryan University of Iowa College of Dentistry for further information and registration.
Dr. Steve Thies
IAGD Legislative Chair